Washington Oral Health Foundation partners with Green Halloween® to promote healthy options for the holiday

A seashell instead of salt water taffy? A polished rock in place of Resses Peanut Butter Cups? That's what the Washington Oral Health Foundation, the charitable arm of the WSDA, is telling dental offices to distribute this year during the Halloween holiday. In partnership with Green Halloween, a community initiative focused on creating child and Earth-friendly holiday traditions, the Foundation is encouraging dentists to communicate a positive oral health message this year.

"Dentists around Washington have been asking the Foundation for ideas about how they can celebrate Halloween in a different way, by keeping in mind the oral health needs of children," said WOHF President Dr. John Carbery. "Partnering with Green Halloween is a good fit because not only is this organization helping to protect the planet, they are also utilizing the popularity of the 'green movement' to promote healthy alternatives to sugar consumption during the holiday."

Corey Colwell-Lipson, the founder of Green Halloween, was just like millions of other parents come October 2006, when she took her two girls trick-or-treating. While most of the neighborhood handed out the requisite candy, a few homes placed non-candy treats like bubbles and stickers in her girls' pumpkins. She was thrilled that someone thought outside the candy-box, and made a note to herself to remember to trick-or treat at these homes the following year. But after winding through several streets in the dark, she had already forgotten which homes were candy-free.

Ms. Colwell Lipson said she mentioned to another parent, "Wouldn't it be great if there were a sign you could place on your door or window that notified trick-or-treaters that their upcoming treat would be healthy?" This way, parents could seek out those homes and turn trick-or-treating into a scavenger hunt - a hunt for treasures rather than treats.

Ms. Colwell-Lipson began thinking about Halloween as a whole and about how it is hard to find treats that are child healthy. Some parents she knew spend weeks researching where to find affordable, kid-friendly, and for some, Earth-friendly treats. But most parents, Ms. Colwell-Lipson realized, don't have the time, inclination or money to seek out candy-free alternatives. They may not like offering candy, but what other options do they have? Wouldn't it be terrific if affordable, kid and Earth healthy treats and treasures were available everywhere? Now they can be . . .

"Green Halloween makes us smile!" said WOHF Board Member Dr. Sally Hewett. "The Washington Oral Health Foundation is proud to partner with this inspirational movement that combines health with celebration."

The principles of Green Halloween make smart sense for oral health, and as the state's resource for healthy mouths, the WOHF offers some recommendations for a healthy Halloween celebration.
  • Fun toothbrushes
  • Coins - consider dressing as the tooth fairy for Halloween
  • Decorated pencils
  • Nuts
  • Polished stones
  • Oyster shells decorated like ghosts
Dentists interested in participating in this new movement or to learn how you can promote a positive oral health message to your patients, contact us here.

To see this article in a PDF from an article in The WDSA News, click here.

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